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vdogg

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I’ve said for years that we need an NYC model with boroughs, but I think we’re closer to a Bay Area setup. One of my friends from San Francisco confirmed this when she visited a few years ago. Out there, you have SF, Oakland, and San Jose working independently but under the Bay Area umbrella. It seems to work. Between the three, San Jose is actually bigger than both SF and Oakland combined, but probably offers more tech and industry jobs.

Tampa and St. Pete would be another example. 
 

ETA: San Jose is almost bigger (1M exactly) vs. 1.3M combined for SF/Oakland. 

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6 hours ago, vdogg said:

I don’t think it’s entirely fair or accurate to say Va. Beach/Chesapeake contribute “nothing”. Va. Beach is one of the largest tourist destinations on the east coast outside of Florida and is a huge contributor to the local economy. The bases in Va. Beach, if they were to close, would have a devastating impact on the entire Hampton Roads economy. Chesapeake has one of the few fortune 500 companies in this area. I will agree that the creation of independent cities was largely a result of racism back in the day, but unfortunately that ship has sailed. You are not going to uncreate Virginia Beach, there is simply no way either of those cities is going to be rolled back into Norfolk proper. It’s just not happening. We have to figure out a way to work together going forward that benefits the entire region.

VA Beach tourism does not support Hampton Roads and is only viable between May and Sept. The military insulations in VA Beach are in direct support of Norfolk's military base. VA Beach has done nothing and has nothing that could save this area. Sorry not sorry.

It is very fair and accurate for me to say VA Beach and Chesapeake does nothing, what have they done? Between those 2 locals is over 600,000 people,  Chesapeake and VA Beach have absolutely nothing that should or could support 600,000 people. You my friend have been fooled in believing something that just isn't true. 

Answer this for me too. If Virginia Beach tourism was so important to the region. Why didn't VB want the light rail to the Oceanfront? As I've said before VB is for VB not Hampton Roads and that city has actively crippled this area. 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Kevin Cheph Randall said:

VA Beach tourism does not support Hampton Roads and is only viable between May and Sept. The military insulations in VA Beach are in direct support of Norfolk's military base. VA Beach has done nothing and has nothing that could save this area. Sorry not sorry.

It is very fair and accurate for me to say VA Beach and Chesapeake does nothing, what have they done? Between those 2 locals is over 600,000 people,  Chesapeake and VA Beach have absolutely nothing that should or could support 600,000 people. You my friend have been fooled in believing something that just isn't true. 

Answer this for me too. If Virginia Beach tourism was so important to the region. Why didn't VB want the light rail to the Oceanfront? As I've said before VB is for VB not Hampton Roads and that city has actively crippled this area. 

 

 

 

 

The light rail issue is quite complex and can pretty much be blamed on one man and his smear campaign for it's failure. Remember, in the 2nd referendum VB residents actually APPROVED light rail by a wide margin, and city council squandered that opportunity in the years since. That's a leadership problem, not a resident problem. I assure you my friend, I have not been "fooled" by anything. I prefer to take a nuanced approach, and am not so militant in my views. You cannot go up to someone and say "you're the reason for all my problems and you contribute nothing" and expect them to break bread with you. Even if you truly believe that, that approach will get you no where diplomatically. If our leaders follow that approach, our issues with regionalism will continue ad infinitum, I promise you that.

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51 minutes ago, vdogg said:

The light rail issue is quite complex and can pretty much be blamed on one man and his smear campaign for it's failure. Remember, in the 2nd referendum VB residents actually APPROVED light rail by a wide margin, and city council squandered that opportunity in the years since. That's a leadership problem, not a resident problem. I assure you my friend, I have not been "fooled" by anything. I prefer to take a nuanced approach, and am not so militant in my views. You cannot go up to someone and say "you're the reason for all my problems and you contribute nothing" and expect them to break bread with you. Even if you truly believe that, that approach will get you no where diplomatically. If our leaders follow that approach, our issues with regionalism will continue ad infinitum, I promise you that.

The creation of Va Beach , Chesapeake and Suffolk ultimately doomed Norfolk and VA Beach continues to act in a un regional manner. Where is the lie? You want to sugar coat a lie as if Va Beach and Chesapeake hold equal weight and that's a lie. That is a continuation of the issues at hand, those 3 cities had no business existing. 

It's not about breaking bread, this is about moving our region forward. There is nothing that Va Beach or Chesapeake has that can sustain Hampton Roads except their huge tax base. The tax base that should have already been in Norfolk coffers.

And VA Beach residence did vote down the light rail, you may not see it or even choose to believe it VA Beach is very much a city that is quite racy( racist). Pharrell and Bruce Smith have both recently eluded that, and I spoke with multiple VB residence who said the light rail would bring the GHETTO to VB......  

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1 hour ago, Kevin Cheph Randall said:

The creation of Va Beach , Chesapeake and Suffolk ultimately doomed Norfolk and VA Beach continues to act in a un regional manner. Where is the lie? You want to sugar coat a lie as if Va Beach and Chesapeake hold equal weight and that's a lie. That is a continuation of the issues at hand, those 3 cities had no business existing. 

It's not about breaking bread, this is about moving our region forward. There is nothing that Va Beach or Chesapeake has that can sustain Hampton Roads except their huge tax base. The tax base that should have already been in Norfolk coffers.

And VA Beach residence did vote down the light rail, you may not see it or even choose to believe it VA Beach is very much a city that is quite racy( racist). Pharrell and Bruce Smith have both recently eluded that, and I spoke with multiple VB residence who said the light rail would bring the GHETTO to VB......  

Some history.

There were 3 referendums.

Voted down in 1999, APPROVED in 2012, voted down in 2016 after a smear campaign by a city leader.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tide_light_rail#:~:text=On November 2012%2C voters approved,will be completed in 2014.

I'm honestly not sure where intend to go with this approach, you seem quite intent on alienating anyone that tries to find middle ground with you, so my final question is what would YOU do to fix the problem?

Also, it's funny that you mentioned Pharrell. He has spoken many times on the issue of racism in Virginia Beach, which does exist, I've never denied that. But he is also the city's biggest booster and it's constantly trying to give back to the area. He has spoken of the love that he has for his hometown on numerous occasions. 

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I'll be moving this all to the off-topic thread in the morning, but I think it'll be good for everyone to hear what Pharrell actually says about Va. Beach, so that there are no misconceptions on his views.

 

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2 hours ago, vdogg said:

Some history.

There were 3 referendums.

Voted down in 1999, APPROVED in 2012, voted down in 2016 after a smear campaign by a city leader.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tide_light_rail#:~:text=On November 2012%2C voters approved,will be completed in 2014.

I'm honestly not sure where intend to go with this approach, you seem quite intent on alienating anyone that tries to find middle ground with you, so my final question is what would YOU do to fix the problem?

Also, it's funny that you mentioned Pharrell. He has spoken many times on the issue of racism in Virginia Beach, which does exist, I've never denied that. But he is also the city's biggest booster and it's constantly trying to give back to the area. He has spoken of the love that he has for his hometown on numerous occasions. 

Yes he has spoken about VB positively I think Pharrell is one of the driving forcing in trying to make VB a destination and that's awesome. But on the other hand his unarmed cousin was gunned down by VB Police.... But that's another issue so back to HR as a whole. 

But yeah I stand very firm that this area needs to lose its borders. No I do not believe these cities will coexist, VB has had multiple opportunities to show better and hasn't. Is it fair that these large cities sit on 200+ Sq miles of land each. While Norfolk and Portsmouth combined are less than 100.You have no issue in keeping 'status quo', somehow now Norfolk need to ' break bread'. Honestly you guys got the kings ransom and have held the region hostage at times. The city council is voted in by VB residence so yes the demographic of your city isn't  progressive and the smear campaign worked. It's hard to look past how VB moves. 

How to fix the issue, the State needs to lose independent cities. It leads to unnecessary competition and elitist attitudes. Every city becomes a county and urban cores are incorporated into a new city call it New Dominion, I guess. Taxes and services will become shared. Break the new city up into equally populated district to elected officials to create a council. Mayor will be voted in by popular vote. The city annex unincorporated divisions every 8 yrs. 

Diluting the voter base who reside in VB would help move this area along most. Everybody would have a say in transit and infrastructure issue, only way to get that lose the borders. Not breaking bread with each other, somebody always will want more bread. 

 

 

 

Sorry also can you move to off topic I know this is totally off topic lol my bad. 

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8 hours ago, Kevin Cheph Randall said:

Yes he has spoken about VB positively I think Pharrell is one of the driving forcing in trying to make VB a destination and that's awesome. But on the other hand his unarmed cousin was gunned down by VB Police.... But that's another issue so back to HR as a whole. 

But yeah I stand very firm that this area needs to lose its borders. No I do not believe these cities will coexist, VB has had multiple opportunities to show better and hasn't. Is it fair that these large cities sit on 200+ Sq miles of land each. While Norfolk and Portsmouth combined are less than 100.You have no issue in keeping 'status quo', somehow now Norfolk need to ' break bread'. Honestly you guys got the kings ransom and have held the region hostage at times. The city council is voted in by VB residence so yes the demographic of your city isn't  progressive and the smear campaign worked. It's hard to look past how VB moves. 

How to fix the issue, the State needs to lose independent cities. It leads to unnecessary competition and elitist attitudes. Every city becomes a county and urban cores are incorporated into a new city call it New Dominion, I guess. Taxes and services will become shared. Break the new city up into equally populated district to elected officials to create a council. Mayor will be voted in by popular vote. The city annex unincorporated divisions every 8 yrs. 

Diluting the voter base who reside in VB would help move this area along most. Everybody would have a say in transit and infrastructure issue, only way to get that lose the borders. Not breaking bread with each other, somebody always will want more bread. 

 

 

 

Sorry also can you move to off topic I know this is totally off topic lol my bad. 

The problem here is that you need buy in from the city and/or the state. I'm sure you'll agree that Va. Beach will not vote to uncreate itself, so that leaves the state. No state legislator, dem or rep, is going to tell Va. Beach "you don't have a right to exist". The response to that would be nuclear, absolute political suicide. It's a nonstarter. However similar the cities were when they first Incorporated, we have to realize that they are distinct cultural entities today. The only system that would truly work is a bourough system, and we're already sort of set up for it. The hrtpo has shown that such system could work in this area, and I think it allows cities to keep their individuality while at the same time pooling our resources for the common good.

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1 hour ago, Arctic_Tern said:

It does not work though, if it's already set up and worked then why are we in this situation?  Hampton Roads as it is set up is not in a bourough system, it is not the Bay area, what it is is a fractured region with each city trying to up their stature at the expense of the rest. In order to get what we have to work would require major systematic reform and for Virginia Beach to give up a lot of power. 

The HRTPO does work though. The HRBT would not be under construction now if that were not the case. Everyone got together on that one, everyone had skin in the game. I’m not saying that everything works right now, but some things like hrtpo do, and we can use that as an example to build off of. Regional financing for transportation, transit, arenas, etc., are all things that are doable now. Pooling regional resources to attract Fortune 500 companies to our area is also doable. It’s realistic. The complete dismantling of Va. Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk is simply not going to happen, so let’s focus on what’s attainable.

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13 minutes ago, vdogg said:

The HRTPO does work though. The HRBT would not be under construction now if that were not the case. Everyone got together on that one, everyone had skin in the game. I’m not saying that everything works right now, but some things like hrtpo do, and we can use that as an example to build off of. Regional financing for transportation, transit, arenas, etc., are all things that are doable now. Pooling regional resources to attract Fortune 500 companies to our area is also doable. It’s realistic. The complete dismantling of Va. Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk is simply not going to happen, so let’s focus on what’s attainable.

Why isn't it attainable? Every city would lose it's independent status. 

Why do independent continually get tied into individuality?  

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9 hours ago, Kevin Cheph Randall said:

Why isn't it attainable? Every city would lose it's independent status. 

Why do independent continually get tied into individuality?  

It all boils down to the right of self governance and the perceived infringement of that right. Norfolk and Portsmouth would probably be the easiest, most logical, cities to combine but everyone from politicians to normal citizens tend to bristle at that idea. It’s so bad that Portsmouth decided to move their casino away from the waterfront so they wouldn’t have to compete with Norfolk, never once considering that the casinos actually compliment each other and that through cooperation, both cities would benefit. If you can’t even get Norfolk and Portsmouth together, it’s not happening with any other city. And unless you plan on firing mortars from the city line and dropping paratroopers on city hall, Va. Beach will not acquiesce to any demands to give up  “power”, whatever that entails. There are, however, examples of regionalism that have worked in practice that if we build off of can sort of morph into a borough like system. Maybe one day after such a borough system has been in place for a period of time it will make sense to remove the independent city status from everyone (we’ll all be long dead and buried), but for the time being, I think a borough system is the best that can be hoped for.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It does not work though, if it's already set up and worked then why are we in this situation?  Hampton Roads as it is set up is not in a bourough system, it is not the Bay area, what it is is a fractured region with each city trying to up their stature at the expense of the rest. In order to get what we have to work would require major systematic reform and for Virginia Beach to give up a lot of power. 

This is spot on.


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Why isn't it attainable? Every city would lose it's independent status. 
Why do independent continually get tied into individuality?  

Tying identity to independence is a tactic used by those who would not benefit from a unified city here (e.g. local politicians and those that support them). It’s not true but to many people it seems to make sense, despite numerous examples to the contrary. Ever heard of Hollywood? Brooklyn? Queens? Little Italy? All communities that thrive despite being part of a larger city. Lots of examples in HRVA too: Ghent, Kempsville, Phoebus, Churchland, Deep Creek, and Pungo are all communities that at some point became part of a larger city and they all have thriving identities and unique characters. So to answer your question: yes it is B.S.

Also, about the “why isn’t it attainable?” It is. Consolidation is a legal mechanism allowed by VA law(§ 15.2-3500). When the majority of voters in two or more adjacent localities approve, it can happen. It’s a joining together of equal entities. It’s not annexation and it’s not one city absorbing another. Moreover, there is no way for politicians or anyone else to stop it or say it can’t happen. (In fact VA law says that if local leaders won’t move forward after a petition has been submitted to the locality, the circuit court will issue an order to hold the vote on consolidation) It’s only a matter of political will and anyone who says it won’t happen is just telling you their cynical prediction of the future, not a fact of law.


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6 minutes ago, Mountain_Junior said:


Tying identity to independence is a tactic used by those who would not benefit from a unified city here (e.g. local politicians and those that support them). It’s not true but to many people it seems to make sense, despite numerous examples to the contrary. Ever heard of Hollywood? Brooklyn? Queens? Little Italy? All communities that thrive despite being part of a larger city. Lots of examples in HRVA too: Ghent, Kempsville, Phoebus, Churchland, Deep Creek, and Pungo are all communities that at some point became part of a larger city and they all have thriving identities and unique characters. So to answer your question: yes it is B.S.

Also, about the “why isn’t it attainable?” It is. Consolidation is a legal mechanism allowed by VA law(§ 15.2-3500). When the majority of voters in two or more adjacent localities approve, it can happen. It’s a joining together of equal entities. It’s not annexation and it’s not one city absorbing another. Moreover, there is no way for politicians or anyone else to stop it or say it can’t happen. (In fact VA law says that if local leaders won’t move forward after a petition has been submitted to the locality, the circuit court will issue an order to hold the vote on consolidation) It’s only a matter of political will and anyone who says it won’t happen is just telling you their cynical prediction of the future, not a fact of law.


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Exactly every city/area already has an identity, or at least areas that are uniquely theirs. Nobody would confuse DT Norfolk and the Oceanfront, even DT Norfolk is different from DT Portsmouth. 

 

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It all boils down to the right of self governance and the perceived infringement of that right. Norfolk and Portsmouth would probably be the easiest, most logical, cities to combine but everyone from politicians to normal citizens tend to bristle at that idea. It’s so bad that Portsmouth decided to move their casino away from the waterfront so they wouldn’t have to compete with Norfolk, never once considering that the casinos actually compliment each other and that through cooperation, both cities would benefit. If you can’t even get Norfolk and Portsmouth together, it’s not happening with any other city. And unless you plan on firing mortars from the city line and dropping paratroopers on city hall, Va. Beach will not acquiesce to any demands to give up  “power”, whatever that entails. There are, however, examples of regionalism that have worked in practice that if we build off of can sort of morph into a borough like system. Maybe one day after such a borough system has been in place for a period of time it will make sense to remove the independent city status from everyone (we’ll all be long dead and buried), but for the time being, I think a borough system is the best that can be hoped for.


A couple points:
1. “Right of self governance” - again a skewed interpretation that leads to unnecessary apprehension. (I acknowledge that you’re saying the cities have this sense and not that you necessarily think this yourself) Here’s what we have right now: a person from your ward/borough/district of your locality is voted on by you and then goes to represent the interest of that ward/borough/district in the larger locality’s governing body. Here’s what you’d have after consolidation: a person from your ward/borough/district of your locality would be voted on by you and then go to represent the interest of your ward/borough/district in the larger locality’s governing body. It’s the same thing. Bottom line: it’s not a change. Someone from where you live, representing you would be on your locality’s governing body. This is simply a faulty pretext for opposing consolidation. (Again, I understand not your feelings personally)

2. “Everyone from politicians to normal citizens tend to bristle at the idea.” This is not true. Certainly some do, but an actual survey done on this very question by ODU for their 2000 State of the Region report found greater than 50% support across Hampton Roads and 50% or greater support in all of the seven cities except Hampton and Suffolk, which were close. And this survey’s sample size was sufficient to give a 95% confidence level of the results, with a 3% margin of error. This means that while merger’s not overwhelming popular, to say it’s unpopular is clearly wrong. (https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1154&context=sor_reports) Also, keep in mind that it had 50% support despite the question being asked on the survey was if people supported the merger of the 14 cities and counties of Hampton Roads, a scenario so unreasonable and impractical, I would’ve probably said no.

Moreover, in the 2001 State of the Region Report (https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1148&context=sor_reports), it was reported that in the intervening year “Several elected officials reported being dumbfounded by that result, as they had heard only from individuals who opposed merger.” Although this nugget was buried in the report, it speaks volumes: those who either support consolidation or are open to this idea are far more widespread than most expect.

Likewise, the 2014 HRPDC study (called Envision Hampton Roads) based on interviews and surveys reported that:
“The survey finds that the majority of the region’s residents would prefer that Hampton Roads be more open to change than they believe it is today [and] … that the region should not hold back progress to preserve the independence of our individual cities and counties…”

Unfortunately, because the idea of consolidation is not well-defined and because opposition to it is, people won’t defend it in public. It’s too amorphous and complex. And people genuinely misunderstand what is being discussed. I doubt most folks reading this have actually looked up and read the VA state codes dealing with it. Which is understandable, but it means there is lots of confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation about it.

Last thing, consolidation has actually had the approval of lots of political leaders and prominent citizens over the years, including mayors and city council members - it’s just usually not while they’re in office. (I’ll provide a list if you like) So I disagree that it’s unpopular. I just think that the opposition is loud and the issue is poorly defined and misunderstood.

3 “Maybe one day after such a borough system has been in place…” - A borough system *is* consolidation. There is no borough system without consolidating localities. This actually proves my point above and I think most folks would say something similar. You’re saying you like the benefits that would come from a borough system, but a merger sounds too extreme. This is because two things are happening here: (1) you intuitively recognize as most do the obvious benefits of our cities not applying their energy and resources to hurting each other and the benefits that come from working together, but (2) the idea of merger has been poisoned by talk of lost identity, higher taxes, and many other undesirable things. That linkage with those undesirable things is very much on purpose so that you don’t even consider consolidation an option, and that way the status quo of middling, mediocre, and unremarkable political leadership you’ve got now feels like the best you’ll get.

My point is that the more you study consolidation and it’s benefits, the more you start to realize the borderline criminal squandering of our region’s potential that has taken place over the last 60-70 years, all so that people in power can stay in power.


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1 hour ago, varider said:

On another note, I absolutely hate the empty lot at 1500 Monticello and would love to see a new proposal for that lot in the near future. 

I still don't know how this never came to fruition.

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Are you referring to the failed Granby tower site in front of the court house? If so the yes I would love to see development there. That lot would be so good to build a high-rise on too. Its the perfect size and its also bare and empty....Nothing worth saving in my opinion.  And if people are worried about a park they should take a breather and go to town point park.  Hopefully someone will revive Granby tower be it with or without some changes I just want to see Norfolk's skyline improve into at least the minor sized city stage. 

EDIT: Oh turns out your not lol. But yea that whole area you brung up should get a revive. Also do you guys have any idea about whats going on in fort Norfolk? They legit turned it into a "midtown" According to city plans. Fort Norfolk development surprised me when driving off near it.

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, BFG said:

I still don't know how this never came to fruition.

It's not entirely dead according to some construction trackers I've been watching, but I can't seem to find firm confirmation. It appears that there *MIGHT be a chance to still get this off the ground. 

Gravity 400 posts have been moved to Gravity 400 thread.

https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/120070-gravity-400-approved/

 

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5 hours ago, BFG said:

Nice. I was hoping it would go there instead of the HRT station on St. Paul. Wonder if an expansion of the Amtrak station is in the works?

This makes a lot of sense with the Casino going up right there. If they expand the Amtrak station I am sure it can be designed to mesh with the Casinos parking structure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just curious, do you all think that DT NFK as a business center is dead?  

A decade ago, there appeared to be much more foot traffic and office workers/ suits traveling to other offices and down Granby and the mall and even the old Waterside during lunch. I know we’ve been dealing with the pandemic and WFH, but other cities are starting to recover and downtowns are returning to normal, while NFK is still fairly quiet during the day and I am concerned that we may never see a busy daytime downtown again. I used to go out to lunch with my dad and be in awe of how many business people were out to lunch. My first interview after college was DT and the entire interview group walked to lunch and the company paid for it. 

nowadays, it seems like DT is transitioning more into a place to chill and ride scooters or go to events and less of a place to work and conduct business. It is disheartening to see Norfolk Southern leave for a $600M+ HQ in Atlanta and the BoA building turned into apartments, and to know that we have very little chance of seeing a new office tower (Gateway) because places like Summit Pointe or Town Center will likely be viewed as the more attractive option closer to where more people are choosing to live (Chesapeake/VB). 
 

Can someone else offer a more positive/hopeful perspective? Even if downtown is in a transition phase, do you think that the delay we are seeing on Gravity 400 is cause for concern? I’m very interested in others opinions here.

The lack of white collar jobs and the fact that the Navy is cutting civilian jobs in the area is really an issue and I am worried that Norfolk development is cooling off and becoming more stagnant because of it. 

I think the city might need a miracle..

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